Fieldamental #10: Speak Candidly

SPEAK CANDIDLY.  Speak professionally in a way that moves the action forward. Be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success.  Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected.

 The most important aspect of this Fieldamental to me is focusing on speaking in a manner that “moves the action forward”.  You may think your being candid by venting, complaining, or dumping on someone else, but none of these do anything to fix, resolve, or help in any way.  It may seem candid, but it is not useful.  Speaking candidly is being direct, clear, and honest in our communication.  It’s being direct, but in a way that enables the other person to truly “hear” us and improves the likelihood of positive movement toward our team objectives.

Reasonable argument

Why is this so hard?  Because speaking candidly may require us to have uncomfortable conversations that we’d rather avoid.  Often these conversations may even include some conflict.  We may be fearful of hurting another’s feelings or of risking our relationship.  But to speak candidly we cannot think like that, we actually honor our relationship greater by being candid than we do by avoiding difficult conversations.

When approaching a difficult conversation, a helpful technique is to acknowledge to the other person your discomfort or uneasiness.  By acknowledging this upfront, you can free yourself to have the conversation with less fear about the words not coming out precisely how you wanted.  When dealing with challenges related to another Team Members (or family or friend), it may be better to frame the conversation on what could be done differently in the future as opposed to digging into what happened in the past.  By looking to the future, you minimize the need for the other person to rationalize or defend their actions. It is also helpful to ask the other person to speak openly about how they feel about the situation or what you just said.  It may be difficult and nerve racking in the short run, but being candid can lead to a better relationship in the long run, and create more trust in a relationship.